June 11, 2007

Rebelling against the flower image.

Pushing the flower envelope....

A flower from outer space

She's had it up to here with the sweet and pretty flower stereotype. More edge! More hostility!

A flower from outer space

... more confusion and disorder.

IN THE COMMENTS: Some great stuff, including the identification of this insanely ugly flower as a type of clematis: clematis florida Sieboldii.


Maxine Weiss said...

Paris Hilton

The Drill SGT said...

overripe articoke

MadisonMan said...

Ugly Dahlia.

jane said...

This one's either about fractalcide or is just your garden variety femme fatale or gay tough.

bill said...

duh, it's obviously a reference to Honeyed secrets: Authority, sexuality, and flower imagery in women's literature from Wollstonecraft to McGuckian

From the abstract:

It is through the image of the flower that many twentieth-century women writers conceive of and struggle with their own creative authority. Authority and sexuality are etymologically linked in English-speaking cultures. The assumption of authority as an artist or writer therefore implies also the assertion of authority sexually: a claiming of the “increase,” or issue of one's mind. The flower metaphor is a nexus where these issues of sexuality, authority and gender intersect for female writers and artists.

peter hoh said...

Is it possible that this is actually two different flowers? Those look like clematis vines in the background, and the white petals look like a clematis blossom.

jane said...

Bill, whereas the usual literary/ artistic vehicle for male sexuality and authority is the car (meataphor)?

Sigivald said...

What an angry little artichoke.

bill said...

Jane, before clicking on the link, I thought "meataphor" was an inept typo. I was wrong, it's wittily ept. Still, that doesn't really qualify as a scholarly reference, now does it? Perhaps you'd like:

Men, Dogs, Guns, and Cars--The Semiotics of Rugged Individualism, or

Manifestations of Masculinities: Mad Max and the Lure of the Forbidden Zone

I don't know if that second one qualifies, but it sure sounds entertaining.

Ann Althouse said...

Great comments!

Peter: I'm going to check next time I'm over there. (This is in the garden on the "terrace" next to Art Gekko on Monroe Street.) I agree that the white part looks like clematis and like it doesn't belong.

Bissage said...

For those who can’t wait that long (the impatiens among us) here you go.

jane said...

A wild cultivar vs. an uncultivated wild-- both wonderful:

"Come with me to the old range
Just for an hour or so;
You'll hear the call of the range stock
And the voices of the Chinook blow.
Blowing down o'er the windswept hills
Where the pups of the grey wolf play
And their dens lie deep in the hidden steep
Of the cut-banks far away.


You will smell the wild clematis,
As it falls in a cloud of white,
Sending its glorious fragrance
Far out into the prairie night;
See the moon shining over the river,
Hear the call of the coyote shrill,
And the long, deep bay of the lone wolf
Coming down from a far-off hill.


Then come with me to the old range
Just for an hour or so;
I'll show the sweetest things on earth
Out where the Chinooks blow"

by Rhoda Sivell, from Voices from the Range, 1912.

Ann Althouse said...

Thanks, Bissage. I was ready to believe it was an overripe artichoke. Anyway, this flower is so ugly I feel a little angry about it.

MadisonMan said...

But it can be yours for only $22.95 plus shipping from White Flower Farms.

P. T. Barnum was right.

peter hoh said...

Why yes, that is one ugly clematis. And from such a lovely lineage, too.

Does it lok this bad in real life? I only ask as my clematis, beautiful as they are, don't appear in photos as they do in life. I have tried to adjust for color, but I'm not pleased with the results.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Feeeeed Meeee Seymour!!!


ricpic said...

Clematis dentitis. My package just shrunk.

Simon said...

It doesn't look ugly so much as it looks hungry - a maw of sharp teeth.

Ruth Anne Adams said...

I see purple and green together and can't help but think: Barney the Dinosaur.

I love you. You love me. We're a happy family...

Synova said...

I've always thought those were pretty.

But I'm weird that way. I like weird flowers.